While it was awfully tempting to stay in lovely Utah for some more exploring, we already had a reservation back in Colorado at a state park for the upcoming week, so back to Colorado we went. This week we’re on the very western side of the state at the James M. Robb Colorado River State Park (could they have picked a longer name?) Both Nina and Ingrid gave this park rave reviews so I knew it would be nice, but I didn’t know it would be this nice.
The sites are large, paved and level. In fact, our pull-thru site is so long we could probably fit another rig back there. Our front yard has a nice covered shelter that we lined our awning up with to create an extended shade/rain shelter. It’s come in handy this week during both the two days of rain, and the rest of the week of hot sun. Considering the fact that we’re minutes away from I-70 this park has a surprisingly rural feel to it. The sites are spaced very generously, and in between is a wild, lush landscape of sage brush, tall grasses, and leafy green trees.
The rest of the park is just as nice as the sites with a path along the river, a boat launch, and some lakes (lakes filled with e-coli so not safe for swimming in, but pretty to look at).
The primary reason for our visit was that long strip of red rock ledge you see beyond the river. It’s called the Colorado National Monument, and once you get up in there it’s a pretty awesome place to explore. Since the entrance is only a few miles from our campground, we were able to visit a few times. I am planning to write an entire post on the monument, so for now you only get a one photo teaser of the main road entering the monument.
Ideally we would have spent even more time in the monument, since there’s a ton of trails we would have liked to hike. But real life called and we ended up spending most of our free time completing those mundane tasks that help remind us how life on the road is often similar to life in a stationary house. Tim had a big work project that sucked up some of his time, we got new tires for the Airstream, the drain valve on our fresh water tank sprung a leak and Tim fixed that, I eradicated the mouse droppings from our outside compartments and under sink area, did a ton of errands, a long overdue cleaning of the truck- inside and out, and we upped the mouse defense with more steel wool, more traps, and a stinky product a few readers recommended called Fresh Cab. So far no new mice have breached the defenses, but since we’re parked on a concrete pad right now, the real test will come next week when we get back out in the wild.
It wasn’t all boring around the house stuff though. The best part of the week was that we made some new full-timer friends! A few minutes after pulling into the park I got a comment from an Instagram follower saying, “I think you just pulled into the same park as us. We’re in the green Wanderlodge bus.” Yup, it was us. We even talked about how awesome that bus was as we drove past. I’ve said it before, and I am sure I’ll say it again, Instagram is the best way to meet people on the road. Once upon a time, not that long ago, I shunned all forms of social media. I resisted Facebook longer than most, thought Twitter was the stupidest idea ever, and had no desire to share snippets of my life on Instagram. Well, that all changed when we started traveling. Moving around the country as we do makes it hard to form connections with other people, and social media has become a super important way for us to not only meet other travelers, but connect with locals, learn about the place we are visiting, and even find job opportunities. I am still not 100% sold on that Twitter thing, but I do love my Instagram and are pleased to add Todd and Russ to the growing list of new friends we have made through the photo sharing site.
Todd, Russ and and their two pups have been on the road full-time for a few months. They’ve been hanging around Colorado for nearly as long as us, and are heading to Utah next week, so it was a happy coincidence that we ended up in the same place at the same time. After our initial meeting, and tour of their ultra cool bus, we quickly made plans to have dinner together later in the week. I forget to take food pics, but we chowed down on a tasty spicy gazpacho, a roasted veggie & goat cheese flatbread, and a homemade peach cobbler. You know how sometimes you meet people who you instantly hit off with? That’s how we felt about Todd and Russ. Meeting other full-time travelers is almost always a sure thing since you immediately have a lot in common, but every once in awhile there’s more to it than simply a shared life-style choice.
It’s those times when it’s especially hard to say goodbye. Tomorrow we’ll go our separate ways as they head west and we head east. Sometimes it makes me sad when we meet people who we might not see again for years, or at all. It can be hard to say goodbye after only a few days, or a single afternoon together. I try to remind myself that had we stayed in one place, we would have never met any of these people, but it’s still hard to always be saying goodbye when we’ve only just met. I think it might be the single hardest thing about living as we do.
Safe travels Todd and Russ! Enjoy Utah and we hope to run into you again somewhere down the road.
I’m glad you enjoyed the state park and the Monument. The hiking around there is awesome but if it’s still warm you gotta get out early. Hope you picked up some Palisade peaches.
We did manage to get in one early morning hike before it got too hot. What an amazing place! We also got some delicious peaches :)
I’m totally with you on twitter–just don’t get the attraction. What a great park & dang! That pizza looks yummy! Happy trails!
Yeah, the Twitter thing just seems silly to me :) The pizza was very good- fresh corn, zucchini, red onions, and goat cheese.
This looks like another great park. I enjoyed your thoughts on social media. I struggle with the time spent with the blog and Facebook and have resisted Twitter. I should probably do some research on Instagram, particularly if it is a good way to meet others on the road. Look forward to future posts on the Colorado National Monument. We are heading to Longmont next week.
I’ve surprised myself by getting more into social media over the last few years (although I will never be the type of person who “tweets”). I think it’s because the traditional ways of meeting people and making new friends are not always possible as we travel around. Yet another way this lifestyle has forced me to step out of my comfort zone. Have fun in Longmont. Hope it’s not too hot!
So glad you enjoyed it there. We thought that park was just a GEM! Double bonus that you made new friends.
I remember reading about this park on your blog long ago and thinking how much I would like to stay there. It’s always nice when a place exceeds your already high expectations. And making some new friends was the icing on the cake.
What a gorgeous park — definitely a place we would love. Even better that you met awesome new friends! I appreciated your thoughts on social media — I’m one of the only people on the planet not on Facebook. I enjoy writing our blog because it’s a creative endeavor and actually provides us with a journal of our travels, but between that and my writing work, I can’t stand spending any more time on the computer. I always enjoy your Instagram posts, though, in addition to your blog — it’s like getting little postcards. :-)
Yeah, in general social media in not much of a creative outlet. Like you, the blog is my preferred method of recoding and sharing our travels, but I can’t discount the people and opportunities that we have discovered through places like FB and Instagram.
Love your campground review and Todd & Russ’s sweet bus!!
I wish I would have taken pictures of the inside of the bus. It was all original and very cool looking!
Guess what? They’re camped out next to us and we’re having dinner on Wednesday! I’ll try to get some interior shots.
That’s awesome! Tell them we say hi.